By Perpetua Onuegbu
A retired woman journalist of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mrs Grace Yussuf, has urged journalists to imbibe the importance of mentorship in the profession.
Yussuf, who attained the position of a Deputy Editor-in-Chief in the agency, bowed out of the service at the official retirement age of 60 years, having worked for 31 years.
Speaking at the send-off party organised for her by the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Abuja Chapel on Wednesday, she said that every journalist that must make a mark in the profession must of necessity identify a mentor to look up to.
“If you are doing this job, look for a mentor that you can emulate and learn from. If you must make a mark in this job, mentoring is a necessity.
“Always look at your story and improve on the corrections noted in your story. I make it a point to go back and see the final copy of my stories every time I send a story.
“This is the only way you become a better writer and editors too please do not rewrite a story when you do not have to.
“Please let us do the right thing, don’t over edit or under edit, take your training and your NAN stylebook serious,” Yussuf said.
Yussuf also urged reporters not to take their job in the agency with levity, adding that the beats covered did not matter as much as the attitude to the job.
“I did not have the opportunity to choose beats to cover but the beats I was meant to cover have given me the opportunity of traveling around the globe when I was reporting.
“NAN gave me the platform to work, I was not given the opportunity to choose a beat but I took it all in my strides and those beats took me to places like Congo, Cameroon, Gambia etc.
“It is not really the beat that matters it is what you make out of the beat.”
Yussuf appreciated every of her colleagues for their support during her service, adding that they made her exit a glorious one while giving God all the glory for retiring in sound health.
In his remarks, Mr Silas Nwoha, the Editor-in-chief, NAN, said Yussuf left a legacy of a team player.
“She will do a story in spite of near perfection, will call me to come and look at the story. She is the oldest controller in the newsroom and a woman.
“She controlled a story where the last two paragraphs were perceived to be adverse to the country and hell was let loose.
“She was sad and after a while the matter resolved and her controlled right restored. This made her to write a book.
“As you pass through the journey in life we learn and try to take advantage of every situation to make a difference,” Nwaoha said.
Mrs Hadiza Aliyu, a DEIC, commending Yussuf, said she had done well in keeping the home front while doing the job diligently and weathered all the storms that confronted her in the cause of her job.
Aliyu said she had been inspired to also write a book.
Many other colleagues also attested to her prowess in her job, humility and kindness and wished her greater achievements as she opens another chapter of her life.
NAN reports that Mrs Grace Yussuf wrote a book titled ‘The Journalist, The Woman and Her Faith'(Memoir of a Nigeria female Journalist), a chronicle of her journalistic experience in the last 31 years.